Mozart Don Giovanni opera to libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. Directed 2017 by Jiří Nekvasil at the Estates Theatre in Prague. Stars Simone Alberghini (Don Giovanni), Jan Šťáva (Commendatore), Adrian Sampetrean (Leporello), Irina Lungu (Donna Anna), Katerina Knežíková (Donna Elvira), Julia Novikova (Zerlina), Dmitry Korchak (Don Ottavio), and Jiří Brückler (Masetto). Plácido Domingo conducts the National Theatre Orchestra (Chorus Master Pavel Vaněk). Set designs by Josef Svoboda; costumes by Theodor Pištěk; lighting by Daniel Dvořák. Directed for TV by Brian Large. Produced by Bernhard Fleischer and Plácido Domingo. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
This is, of course, the very stage where Mozart conducted the premiere of Don Giovanni in 1787. According to David J. Baker, writing in the October 2018 Opera News (pages 58-59), Domingo succeeds in giving us an old-fashioned performance of the work that Mozart himself, sitting in the audience, would have viewed with delight. Stated differently, it’s an antidote to the current phenomenon of European Regietheater. Baker also praises the video by Brian Large. Richard Lawrence (July 2018 Gramophone at page 92) agrees (with a B+?+ grade in University of Oxford style), but he warns that Large includes shots of Domingo conducting, we take it, while there is action on the stage. We don’t recall ever seeing before conductor shots in an opera recording while the curtain is raised.